Cape Town - Fernando Alonso is on the "same level" as Michael
Schumacher but has had less success than the German because he can "split
a team"; that's according to Felipe Massa.
During his years in Formula 1, Massa was team-mates with
both World Champions.
When he first joined Ferrari in 2006 he was Schumacher's
team-mate and in his final years at the Scuderia, he was Alonso's.
As such he has first-hand knowledge of how both World
"As for pure talent, I would put Michael and Fernando
on the same level," Massa said.
"Alonso has the gift, the ease, of understanding a race
and driving incredibly fast. A highly intelligent driver with extensive skills
and I would say all that also about Michael.
"I have to admit - it was not easy to live by his side.
I had a close relationship with Michael. I was young and eager to absorb all
the knowledge of a seven-time champion, and Schumacher treated me very well.
"But I had to wrestle with Fernando in a different way.
Outside of the race car, I had zero problems with Alonso, we have always
maintained a healthy working relationship.
"With Fernando, that’s one thing. If he pulls down his
visor, he becomes another person. He can split a team. We saw that in many
racing teams he drove for.
"I see that as his problem. Maybe he could have made
more of his talent without this trait."